Suffering

Suffering almost always shows you that some things you thought you couldn’t live without, you can live without if you lean on God. And that brings freedom. This doesn’t mean that if we loved God perfectly, we wouldn’t suffer. No–because those who love God well do and should love all sorts of other good things in this life too. Jesus loved God perfectly but he was a Man of Sorrows, largely because he loved us so much. We should not take the Stoics’ advice that we detach our hearts from things. We must love many things– and when these good things are taken away, it will hurt. And yet, if we cultivate within ourselves a deep rest in God, an existential grasp of his love for us, then we will find that suffering can sting and cause pain, but it can’t uproot us, overthrow us. Because suffering can’t touch our Main Thing– God, his love and his salvation.

-Tim Keller, “Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering”

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